Review: Ladies in Lavender

Ladies in Lavender is a throwback to the distant past. Ladies in Lavender was set in 1936 on the coast of Cornwall, but filmed in 2004. Continue reading “Review: Ladies in Lavender”

Surprise! Old People are Underrepresented in Film

A new study from the Media, Diversity and Social Change Initiative at the University of Southern California’s Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism provides the data showing what we all know already – older people are ignored, underrepresented, or trivialized in film. Continue reading “Surprise! Old People are Underrepresented in Film”

Review: Sweet Bean (An)

Sweet Bean is also titled An (the Japanese name for bean paste) and Sweet Red Bean Paste. No matter what you call this Japanese film, Sweet Bean is a warm, loving film about three people and food. Continue reading “Review: Sweet Bean (An)”

Review: The Lady in the Van

The Lady in the Van is a sweet comedy starring Maggie Smith as the lady in question and Alex Jennings as Alan Bennett and Alan Bennett. Alan Bennett is the real life playwright whose existence was invaded by a mysterious and eccentric lady in a van for 15 years. Alan talked to himself, hence Alex Jennings plays him twice. Continue reading “Review: The Lady in the Van”

Reprint: A Good Year for Elder Actors

[This post originally appeared at Time Goes By, written by Ronni Bennett. Thanks to Ronni for allowing me to reprint it here.]

Not infrequently, I grumble out loud around here about how few roles, especially major roles, there are in film for elder actors. Our generation doesn’t get much representation on what in our youth was called the silver screen.

But not so in 2015. As the year-end round-ups of the arts are being published, it is gratifying to see how many of our contemporaries have been not only getting work but in some cases being nominated for awards.

This is a list of some of the biggest names and the movies they have starred in this year. It is in no way meant to be comprehensive, and I arbitrarily chose 65 to be the low-end age cutoff. Maybe you have seen some of these. (A few random trailers included) Continue reading “Reprint: A Good Year for Elder Actors”

Watch This: Trailer for The Lady in the Van

The Lady in the Van stars Maggie Smith as a homeless woman, Mary Shepherd, who parks her van in a man’s driveway and leaves it there for 15 years. Alex Jennings plays writer Alan Bennett, the man whose driveway is appropriated. It’s based on a real story.

A scene from The Lady in the Van

The film is based on a play by the same name by Alan Bennett, which he adapted for the film. Maggie Smith previously played Mary Shepherd in both the stage play and radio play of this story.

Smith looks like the grande dame of cranky in this story about an eccentric woman who just happened to find herself a home in the life of a writer who would turn her story into an award winning play.

Also in the film are Dominic Cooper, Frances de la Tour, Jim Broadbent, Sacha Dhawan, and many others.

The film opens in the US on January 15, 2016. Start your new year with Maggie Smith.

Review: My Old Lady

For some reason, the previews for My Old Lady led me to expect a comedy. Maybe with a bit of romance thrown in. Well, there was a bit of romance and a bit of comedy, but it was really a serious drama about family pain, neglect, trauma, and ultimately love. Continue reading “Review: My Old Lady”

Brain Dump: Supergirl, Exotic Marigold Hotel, The Blacklist

It’s a brain dump day. Short thoughts on big topics.

Supergirl’s Costume

Just released photos of Supergirl’s costume show a muted color palette. But the costume is not over-sexualized. I love that. It looks like Supergirl, but a serious super hero, not a sex object.

Melissa Benoist in the Supergirl costume.
Melissa Benoist in the Supergirl costume.

I was hoping for brighter colors and mentioned that on Twitter. Heard back with this:

Fingers crossed that Willie is right!

The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

Maggie Smith and Judi Dench
Maggie Smith and Judi Dench

I went to The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel on the first Saturday it was open. The theater was crammed for the 4PM matinee with a crowd of mostly older people.

The film was charming and very funny. There were many laugh-out-loud moments. The cast was fabulous – every one. The performances from Maggie Smith and Judi Dench were particularly interesting. There was an intimate feel to them. Maggie Smith showed a side I’ve never seen from her before. There was the trademarked acerbic wit but she went beyond that into something quietly profound at the end of the film.

Go see it.

The Blacklist

The famous James Spader neck tilt.
The famous James Spader neck tilt.

Is it just for The Blacklist Red Reddington character, or has James Spader always tilted his head toward his shoulders to deliver his lines? Maybe I’m just noticing it because he gets so many close-ups on the series. Or maybe his neck is failing him and he can’t hold his head up straight. It isn’t always the left side like in the photo. It’s the right side, too.

I don’t remember him doing the head tilt on Boston Legal or The Practice. It’s driving me to consider buying him a neck brace. Does it distract anyone else but me?

Maggie Smith & Judi Dench photo credit: AP. Supergirl image: CBS. Scandal image: ABC.